Senate Judiciary Republicans Vote to Restrict Reproductive Rights

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller

Phone: (603) 271-3207

Email: marina.altschiller@leg.state.nh.us


CONCORD – Today, the Republican majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved HB 625, a bill to ban abortion at or after 24 weeks, without exception for the health of the fetus or in cases of rape or incest. The bill was passed down party lines with a Republican-sponsored amendment that adds even more arbitrary mandates and criminal penalties for medical providers treating pregnant women.


After the vote, Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton), Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene), and Senator Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) issued the following statements:


“HB 625 is yet another attempt to diminish an individual's decisions about their own reproductive health,” stated Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton). “This extreme bill chooses an arbitrary point in time, after which abortion and providers would be criminalized. We heard testimony from the medical community that abortions later in pregnancy are uncommon and often occur within deeply tragic and difficult situations. Families in these tragic and complex circumstances deserve our compassion and our support, not an arbitrary law that completely ignores the complexities of medical decisions, pregnancies, and prenatal care and that inserts the government into deeply personal decisions. This bill will harm families and is particularly extreme because of its criminal penalties and limited exceptions, including none for the health of the fetus and no exceptions for rape or incest."


Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) added, “As we heard deeply personal, painstaking stories from members of the public at the hearing, abortion later in pregnancy is one of the most difficult, painful decisions one could ever make. The only people who should be making decisions about a woman’s health is the woman and her health care provider. For us to assume that we as legislators know better than neonatal specialists is both absurd and dangerous. There is no other medical situation in which the government inserts itself. This bill is an attack on women’s bodily autonomy and access to reproductive health care and should be soundly rejected when it comes before the full Senate.”


Deputy Senate Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) added, “This legislation is one more attempt to control and dictate women’s decisions about their own health care. Here in New Hampshire, we talk a lot about respecting privacy and individual rights. Sadly, my colleagues in the majority conveniently abandon these principles when it comes to women’s choices about their own bodies and their own health. It is clear this bill is ultimately about rolling back the rights women have fought so hard to protect for themselves. It is absolutely critical that we not let this bill advance since it clearly harms the health and wellbeing of Granite Staters.”


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